Hello. My name is Nick Turner and I’ll be your pilot on this voyage of introduction. Please put up your seat trays and raise your chairs to the full upright position. Keep your hands inside the vehicle at all times and remember not to feed the animals. I’m a musician and a writer who comes from North Carolina. I’ve been performing since I was about 11 years old in some way or another. I play a lot of instruments but I focus mainly on guitar and trumpet.
My grandparents bought me my first trumpet the summer before I entered the 6th grade and I was introduced to music. It came to me pretty quickly and before I knew it, I was in my concert clothes and all the family was watching. The first time I heard applause for music that I had a part of creating, I was hooked. There is a high that it produces that is all-natural, healthy and not replaceable by anything you can snort, smoke or swallow.
I was in band throughout my school years until I found football. Sports took up my time until my sophomore year in college, when I found a guitar in the dorm that was being neglected. I picked it up and started picking things out. To this day, my sophomore year roommate hates the song “Free Falling” by Tom Petty, I’m sure. I must have spent months getting used to playing but from those days forward, there hasn’t been much time that I don’t devote to music in one way or another.
Recently I lost my mind and started traveling non-stop. I traded my Marshall half-stack and band for a Peavey practice amp and a loop pedal. In the last few months I’ve been from Florida to upstate New York and there are plans now to head from Boston to Seattle. Writing is taking up most of my time these days but I’m still hitting gigs and love to hit open mic nights to stay sharp.
I’ve been in more bands that I can recall and if you play for long enough, that’s the way that it goes, more often than not. Bands and bandmates will come and go. I’ve been in cover bands, original bands, gigging bands, bands that never got gigs, reggae bands, ska bands, hip hop fusion bands, punk bands, metal bands, country bands, bluegrass bands and once, even a pirate band. There really isn’t a genre that I will refuse to play and in that, I’ve found that the cliché about variety being the spice of life is absolutely true.
I’ve also found that being a solo acoustic performer suits me the best. I have a loop pedal that I can use to lay the foundations for songs that I can improvise on vocally, with the horn or with the guitar. It helps that I don’t need to deal with anyone else on stage as there are no misunderstandings and the decisions about what, when and where to play are mine and mine alone. Having that responsibility simplifies a whole bunch of things, not the least of which is how many ways to cut the paycheck.
Having said that, I’d like to say that being in a band is some of the hardest and most challenging work you can cut out for yourself. My respect and admiration goes out to the folks who choose to do it. Bands have been compared to a relationship but I would like to point out that they are often more like families. There is dysfunction and chaos a lot of the time but with the right compromise and cooperation they can be sincerely fulfilling and a great reward for the time and work that gets put in.
Band Logo Maker has invited me to do some writing for their blog and I’m happy to share my experiences with those of you who will read them. I have a whole mess of stories and advice and I’m more than willing to learn from the folks who take the time to leave comments. They run the whole spectrum of what can go wrong and what can go right. If you’ve ever experienced the absolute insanity that comes along with performance, I’m sure you’ll get a kick out of some of my stories.